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  • Writer's pictureTroy Riggs

COVID-19 Update

Let’s begin with the good news: there are more days behind us than before us.


We can now see the end of the tunnel, in regards, to this pandemic. It doesn’t mean that no additional obstacles will develop. Actually, a good analogy is a marathon. We have completed most of the race, but the last few miles could be the most difficult!


Current Situation:


· President Biden has promised 100 million vaccines in 100 days. Thanks to operation warp speed this is a possibility. There are currently two approved vaccines. ***Special notation, the original plan was to administer two shots to those in assisted and senior living centers due to 40% of all COVID-19 fatalities occurring among the residents.

· New guidelines have mentioned giving as many Americans the first shot as possible to help slow the spread. One shot offers some efficacy. This has caused confusion regarding seniors receiving their second shot. My understanding is this is currently being addressed.

· Johnson and Johnson developed a one-shot vaccine that does not require extreme, cold storage and is expected to receive emergency authorization in February.



Forcasting:

· I believe the US will continue to administer two shots to the elderly and the fatality rate should decrease significantly once this is completed within the first quarter of 2021.

· It will take a herculean effort to provide second shots to healthy citizens in a timely manner--if the US decides to give one shot to as many individuals as possible before administering a second round. Supply chains will certainly be stretched preparing and distributing the second vaccine. It is doable, but problems will arise on many levels.

· If the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is approved in Feb. this could be the moment historians declare as the beginning of the end of the COVID pandemic. J&J is already producing the vaccine, have purchased other production facilities, and will be able to deliver 100 million vaccines by mid-year. This could, by itself, cover more than a 1/3 of the US population by the third quarter of 2021

· There are other vaccines ready for emergency authorization in the near future which will assist in obtaining herd immunity in the US

· A new treatment from Eli Lilly utilizing their antibody drugs will help significantly reduce risks to staff and residents of medical facilities

· Cases will continue to drop—there will be exceptions—but the trend will be downward


· Portions of the US will return to some type of normalcy by the end of the third quarter, with most of the US returning to normal by the first quarter of 2022.

· Social distancing, mask wearing, and protective measure will continue for most if not all of 2021



Obviously, forecasting is based on the best information we have at this time. As with any forecast, there are some outliers which could adversely affect a return to normalcy and prolong the pandemic.


Trouble with Supply Chain

Yes, there have been significant issues with the supply chain. This was similar to the issues producing and delivering PPE gear, hand sanitizers, and testing kits in the beginning of the pandemic. I think the past is indicative of the future.

***Once the American free market kicked in, items were produced, distribution chains developed, and product delivered. With American businesses getting involved in the distribution process, it will dramatically improve, along with vaccine production. There is an expectation that within a few weeks, this will be sorted out.


The Virus will Mutate

Let me begin by saying, “of course” this is what viruses do. The hype you are hearing on the news is disappointing. A recent news story led with, “A new COVID variant could cause more people to die.” The reporter could have also said, “the new COVID variant might not be as deadly.” The fact is that no one knows. While there are variants, this is not a surprise to scientists. If these variants are more contagious as it appears, there is a chance that the vaccine’s efficacy will be slightly diminished.


As I have said to many groups and businesses, we will most likely need some type of booster in the future. Also, new variants can weaken the virus—something that most media outlets don’t mention.


***Current, extensive measures related to overseas flights into the United States could be expanded to include all domestic flights due to the new variant—focus on proof of vaccine or negative test prior to boarding. Additional safety recommendations are to be expected.


Closing:

This pandemic is still dangerous, and we must stay vigilant in protecting ourselves and love ones. Doing so keeps individuals healthy and helps the US recover even faster. Please remember, as with any crisis there will be surprises and setbacks. Thankfully, we live in a great country that has overcome many obstacles and we will overcome this as well.


God Bless and stay safe,


Troy

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Bobbie Farmer Kidwell Driver
Bobbie Farmer Kidwell Driver
31 січ. 2021 р.

Hope and pray your doing well. I'm single , I live alone with my dog. I have 23 years sobriety. By the grace of God, one day at a time. 7 grandkids, 3 adult children that are married and doing very well. I'm so proud. Take care my friend and god bless always.


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Bobbie Farmer Kidwell Driver
Bobbie Farmer Kidwell Driver
31 січ. 2021 р.

Thank you for the update, positive. Greatly appreciated.

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